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The Pentagon's New Purchaser

Want more evidence of Obama's sincerity about overhauling the Pentagon's procurement process (which, as Jon already highlighted, he vowed to do in an interesting exchange with John McCain yesterday)? He's tapped Harvard prof Ashton Carter to serve as the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer. This is significant, as the Boston Globe reports,

Unlike most of his predecessors selected to be undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics, Carter has no professional ties to America's arms makers or manufacturing industry, nor has he spent his career in government procurement. Instead, from his perch at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Carter has been criticizing the Pentagon for buying too much armament it does not need, decrying what he calls a lack of discipline and "failure to take account of cost growth in weapons systems and defense services."

Maybe that'll put a smile on McCain's face.

--Jason Zengerle